For our Christmas message this year we explain the origins of that slightly strange phenomenon… the Christmas Cracker.
Unless you collect plastic frogs that don’t jump or paper hats that always split, it’s hard to imagine the point of them.
So, how did they secure their place at everyone’s Christmas table?
London confectioner Tom Smith invented the Christmas cracker in 1847. He adapted the French idea of wrapping sugared almonds in tissue paper by enclosing a written motto in the package. He then introduced a small explosion, or snap when the sweet wrapper was broken. Sales boomed, and the modern cracker was born.
Surprise gifts replaced sweets and paper hats soon followed. Writers were then employed to pen topical ditties. Good jokes soon ran thin, leaving a legacy of corny riddles and one-liners. Despite this – or even because of this – crackers are as popular as ever.
So, if anyone suggests a cracker-free Christmas, politely tell them to pull the other one.
Have a great Christmas and New Year (and do get in touch if you need help writing those thank you letters).